GM says a lot of really important things here. Please do read it.
Her post's amazing, and I've kept a tab open there because I wanted to make it the focal point of a post about fandom and how we're perceived -- not only by others but by each other.
FYI: Part of her post's quoted after the break.
Some of the conclusion:
I want to be able to say, “I’m part of fandom,” and not get the side-eye from outsiders. I don’t want to be chalked off as a talentless weirdo.
Being a fan is a good thing, because it means that you have found something that excites you, that invites all your enthusiasm for something you love.
So, please, outside world. Accept that. Accept that there’s all sorts of people.
Don’t judge the fan by the fandom.
Don’t judge the fandom by the fan.
She's right. We all ought to be able to do that. I know that fandom of all kinds is viewed as "those crazies" -- it's been that way for decades. It really has.
Time to change that. Way past time.
No one need be tramped on.
Just because I don't understand why you ship, or you don't understand why I don't ship, for example, makes neither of us inferior or superior.
It just means we see this same show, Sherlock, differently. That's what it means. Maybe you collect fic. Maybe you write slash. Maybe you doodle or create portraits. Maybe you RP and that's how you write your stories. Maybe any of a number of things!
Maybe you share links with as many of your fellow fans as you can. Like I do. 8)
What matters is you, your love and enthusiasm -- your passion! -- and how you express yourself.
We're all fans, my dears. And we're a very creative bunch, separately and collectively. Which is brilliant.